Reposted from The Everett Herald By Andrea Brown, Herald Writerphotos: Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
With the help of family and friends, Isaac Heiman put in 50 trees June 29 at a Mukilteo park. Since April, he has added more than 300 trees to the planet.The Mukilteo teen orchestrated the planting of trees from Washington to Israel and Guatemala for a service project for his Aug. 3 bar mitzvah.
“I always liked trees,” said Isaac, 13. “They’re more like living creatures that you can bond with. You can interact with them.”
His original mission was to plant 250 trees by August, but he met that goal before a recent planting party at 92nd Street Park in Mukilteo. He hit up the city to provide 50 hemlock and western red cedars. He provided snacks for the 20 people who came with gloves and shovels to assist.
Isaac chose trees for environmental and personal reasons.
In an email sent to friends and neighbors, he explained: “They speak to me. They make me feel good. Most importantly they make the world feel good.”
He invited everyone to join the party. “I can’t tell you how thankful I will be, but how good you will feel as well. I want to demonstrate the power of community to do so much more than one person can on his or her own,” he wrote.
He gave tips. “By the way, if you join Arborday.org for $10, they will send you 10 trees appropriate for your area free.”
He didn’t stop there. “For those of you that are traveling over the next three months, if you are able, make a lasting mark on wherever you are visiting by planting a tree.”
He has a list where the trees are planted. “So I can check on them later and see them as they grow,” he said, sounding like a proud parent.
It’s a diverse family of seedlings: “Cherry trees. Dogwoods. Firs. Cedars. Smoke trees. Norway spruces, tons of them,” he said.
Isaac isn’t resting on his laurels. “I’ll send more emails about planting some more,” he said.
His project got the nod from Rabbi Jessica Marshall of Temple Beth Or in Everett.
“It was all his idea,” she said. “Isaac has shown such thoughtfulness and maturity in his project. He is really interested in a deeper meaning. Many students get inspired and dream big.”
Projects by others include raising money for mosquito nets in Africa, collecting shoes for people in developing countries and a Mukilteo beach cleanup.
Isaac doesn’t live and breathe trees. He likes to play video games, shoot baskets, bake cookies and clown around with his 8-year-old sister, Annabelle. He’s in the band and on the track team at Harbour Pointe Middle School.
The voicemail message on his cellphone tells callers they’ve reached “the office of Isaac Heiman, attorney at law.”
His dad, Ron, is a public defender. Isaac’s considering a career in law. “I’ve been to my dad’s work and it was cool,” he said.
His mom, Wendy, is a massage therapist. “That’s cool, too,” he said. “I’ve given her massages.”
Isaac isn’t ruling out something in sports.
“I like watching NBA games. I would like the Sonics if they were here,” he said. “If I had another bar mitzvah, that would be my project to bring them here.”
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org.